Pre-Order Fallout 4 for Xbox One, Get Fallout 3 Free

Fallout 4

Fallout 4

Bethesda have revealed in a blog post that people who pre-order Fallout 4 for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store will receive a copy of Fallout 3 for free. This offer is available for a limited time only.

A message will be sent to the account holder’s message centre within 7 – 10 days after having placed the pre-order with a code to download the game for Xbox 360.

This is an excellent incentive for those who haven’t already jumped into the world of Fallout 3, with backwards compatibility support for selected Xbox 360 titles set to land in the coming months for the Xbox One.

However, we do hope that some better deals will come for Fallout 4 pre-orders on all platforms, so if you don’t really want to take advantage of this particular one, it won’t hurt to wait a bit more and see what other surprises the publisher has for us.

Will you pre-order the game or wait to see the reviews?

King’s Quest Will Release On July 28th

King's Quest

King’s Quest

The announcement came through Sierra Game’s twitter account accompanied with a trailer that at the time of writing was private.

It’s official: your quest begins on July 28th. #KingsQuest#adventuregames

— Sierra Games (@SierraGames)

King’s Quest is developed by The Odd Gentlemen and it is a remaking of the original Kings Quest released way back in 1984 which was a hit title at that time. The game will be an episodic saga that will allow you to relive the moments of King Graham of the original Kings Quest. Sierra said they will remain dedicated to the main storyline of the earlier Kings Quest while still adding their own brand new chapters to the game.

“Old and grey, King Graham – the hero made legend in the original King’s Quest games – shares the extraordinary stories of his youth with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn, taking players back to the feats that shaped a kingdom.” The game’s description reads. “And so begins an episodic saga that honors the core characters and familiar storylines of King Graham’s early adventures, setting up new chapters tied to – but independent of – the series that helped define Sierra and the adventure genre.”

King’s Quest now has a confirmed release date of July 28 and it will release on PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Are you looking forward to buying this video game? On which console are you going to play it?

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Officially Announced

Xbox

Microsoft is certainly making their presence known at E3 this year, and easily one of their most exciting announcements is that the Xbox One will become backwards compatible.  Work on bringing backwards compatibility to the system was discussed in April of last year, but we now have official confirmation that 360 games can be inserted into the One and run just fine.  The lack of backwards compatibility has been a major complaint with the Xbox One and Playstation 4 since their launch, and this is a massive step forward for the Xbox One.  Hopefully, Sony will follow suit at their press conference tonight.

What Makes The Perfect Post-Apocalyptic Game?

Apocalyptic

Games orientated around a post-apocalyptic story are becoming a superior genre of game. With next-generation capabilities, we see these games brought to life in development that makes the game feel so realistic that it almost makes the player feel as if they themselves are being bombarded by infected, or scavenging for goods in what remains of civilization. The demand for such games has become increasingly potent since the release of The Last Of Us especially, the post-apocalyptic wonder that snapped up at least 200 Game Of The Year Awards. With a mass of games slotting into this genre it is hard to determine what exactly are the key elements in making them so enjoyable and memorable. Well let’s look into that.

Frightening Foes 

Obvious, I agree but it is a fact that the success of a post apocalyptic game is partially derived from an array of terrifying enemies to war with. It wouldn’t be as thrilling or exciting being thrown up against a score of infected bunny rabbits. Over the years we’ve seen the opposition come in all shapes and sizes, whether it be a mutated mole rat or an infected human splattered in blood. Alarming enemies generate an initial and fundamental line of fear within post-apocalyptic games and a good enemy will make your blood-curdle and your spine tingle as you consider confronting them.

Dying Light (Techland) is plentiful in a span of such enemies. Although, sluggish zombies linger in the streets throughout the day, after sunset, players are left to deal with the agile terrors of the night, Hostiles.

What Makes A Perfect Post-Apocalyptic Game Dying Light 1

These terrifying goons are brilliant for upping the fear factor within the game. As you flee before them you can hear them huffing and puffing behind you as they close in. It’s really effective for generating the intensity that makes a great foe.

Furthermore, enemies can possess the scare-factor for an array of reasons. Taking the Fallout series as an accurate example, the games are set after the occurrence of a nuclear apocalypse, causing various creatures and humans to become mutated due to being consumed by high levels of radiation. Subsequently, enemies are larger and more frightening in terms of their alarming and unusual appearance. I mean, I’m not particularly fond of being harassed by a mob of Giant Scorpions or the misfortune of bumping into a Deathclaw. The enemies are out of character and creatures who’d usually not bat an eyelid at your presence become enemies. This unpredictability generates fear as a result.

What Makes A Perfect Post-Apocalyptic Game Fallout 2

 Scrounging

Nothing says ‘post-apocalypse’ like a lack of resources. Having to search every nook and cranny in the remains of what once a thriving civilisation, really provokes a sense of desperation, amplifying the whole ”survival” feel to a post-apocalyptic game. In resources being scarce players must use their noggin to tackle specific situations within such games as wisely as possible in order to conserve resources and to keep pushing forward. An admirable example of such a game is none other than Naughty Dogs own, The Last Of Us. The vast majority of situations throughout the duration of this absolutely fantastic game, can be tackled with stealth and a little patience, allowing the player to save resources for more hands on encounters. As the difficultly levels of the game increases ammo and food become increasingly rare to come by, having the player then assess each situation so thoroughly as not to draw attention, or a gun. Although a subtle aspect of the game, this style of gameplay is effective for deriving a sense of realism from The Last Of Us and it’s level of effectiveness is all to evident in it’s overall, mind-blowing success.

The Last of Us™ Remastered_20140802185633

Urgency And Desperation 

Post-apocalyptic related games are commonly orientated around survival of the fittest, the desperation of fending for yourself in order to stay alive above all others. Post-apocalyptic wonders to date would not be nearly as successful had we been handed the key to survival on a silver platter, relieving us of all means of urgency and panic. Instead, these games are successful as we have to fight for the gift of life.

A very underrated example of such attention to detail is indie game, Lone Survivor (Superflat Games/ Curve Studios). Although the 2D- retro styled graphics may not exactly cause you to jump or scare easy, this game compensates with every other post-apocalyptic aspect being no less than perfectly-executed, complete with and eerie original soundtrack and the most effect sense of urgency and desperation. Throughout the game players must consume food and drink regularly in order to avoid falling unconscious and then awaking in your bedroom situated in the first initial area of the game. This may not sound like any particular reason to worry but with save points or in this case mirrors being so far apart, it is vital to avoid starvation.

Another post-apocalyptic game that has a very effective way of making the player remain on their toes is The Walking Dead Game (Telltale Games), but this is however for a very different reason. The Walking Dead Game is an interactive drama featuring various button sequences and decisions the player should make. The beauty in this game is it generates the post-apocalyptic panic by limiting times in which players can make decisions. In a matter of seconds a player must decide who to save between two people on the basis of who will benefit them most, what way a team of survivors should tackle a specific situation, all the while bearing in mind every decision has a consequent effect on the rest of the game, meaning a bad decision could have a detrimental outcome.

What Makes A Perfect Post-Apocalyptic Game The Walking Dead Game

Superb Settings 

Post-apocalyptic games thrive in success thanks to finely developed settings. Not only are these hypothetical post-apocalyptic settings great for allowing the mind of the player to indulge in how the aftermath of an apocalypse could look on some realistic level, but it is also ups gameplay standards by giving the player so much to explore and do. Well-developed settings can also be very effective in adding pressure on the story of the game itself, reeling in players emotions by making the characters within the game look extremely hard done by. Again, Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us is a very prominent example of this. Set in a post-apocalyptic USA, we see the only means of safety being the scattered quarantine zones. As soon as the protagonists leave the safety of these areas, then having to navigate unstable skyscrapers and office buildings, flooded underpasses and booby-trapped places of refuge, we see a lot of pressure piled onto the story. Ultimately all of this makes the story unpredictable and as vaguely mentioned prior, it draws in players emotions, all of which is obviously effective in reflection to the outstanding success of The Last Of Us.

The Last of Us™ Remastered_20140804214552

Sensational Stories

A jaw-dropping story is such a key aspect to driving post-apocalyptic games to their success. Although it seems an obvious aspect it truly is vital. An enthralling story will give a hypothetical game a sense of realism, making it seem much less far fetched. Post-apocalyptic games are much more enjoyable when they are believable. The Walking Dead Game (Telltale Games) is driven by it’s story telling, giving the player total control, almost making it as though they are the one surviving. The game is realistic and ditches the traditional idea of taking refuge in a shopping center with the rest of the survivors in your town and city. The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog) is hands down one of the best post-apocalyptic tales to date, purely because it is realistic and everything that happens within the game could happen given an infectious outbreak. It is always a winner to give the player the chance to feel like they themselves are within the game, especially within post-apocalyptic based games.

Even A Bit Of Originality 

Living happily, outbreak of zombies occurs, survive. This is a traditional timeline of the chain of events within post-apocalyptic games. This being the case, it is a breath of fresh-air when a game of the same genre is released that is a little different. In this case we are going to refer to Tokyo Jungle (Sony Computer Entertainment/ Japan Studio) a game based on survival of the fittest, but in regards to the animal kingdom as mankind has strangely disappeared. In a post-apocalyptic setting you play as animals, fighting to survive long enough for the player to discover the reasoning behind the disappearance to humans. Initially this game is just hilarious, playing as animals such as Pomeranians (cute fluffy dogs), Lions and even some prehistoric creatures. However, the games success as a downloadable game was due to it’s originality and the fact it was developed from a totally different perspective on a post-apocalyptic world.

What Makes A Perfect Post-Apocalyptic Game Tokyo Jungle

Games based on the aftermath of an apocalypse are becoming a particularly popular genre of game. With some great games already taking the gaming market by storm and with player demand for more of the genre I think it is only fair to say we can expect even greater releases from developers in this genre in time to come, all of which harnessing these very vital ingredients to the perfect post-apocalyptic game.

VGamerZ’s GameZ of 2015: #4- Mortal Kombat X

Kombat

Mortal Kombat returned in 2011, with a rather spangly-looking reboot. This was the ninth installment in the main series, and added a whole wealth of new ideas. The ghastly heart-punching, liver-rupturing and bone-shattering X-Ray attacks (think of them as a Street Fighter Ultra, only showcasing exactly which internal organs you’re rupturing), a surprisingly complex and soap opera-ish single player story mode, the timesink that was the challenge tower… it was a huge game.

Replete with content and lavishly presented, Mortal Kombat 9 was generally very well received. By veterans and newly-enticed players alike. As such, all eyes are on the upcoming X. So buckle up, because it’s coming at you right now.

The core gameplay is largely unchanged, and needs no introduction. Two fighters enter the stage, and only one emerges with all their limbs and their head still attached. Regular fighters only see defeated opponents knocked out, and Pokémon only ‘faint,’ but this is mortal combat in the most literal sense. If the phrase FINISH HIM means anything to you, you’ll know what’s coming next. And you’ll know that it’s not pretty.

But before the legendary Fatalities kick in, it’s a fairly conventional fighter at heart. Characters each have their own fighting style and special moves, from Sub-Zero’s icy projectiles to Reptile’s acid-spitting shenanigans. Big ol’ health bars at the top of the screen, best of however-many-rounds-you-choose… you know how the genre works. With the previous release, Mortal Kombat refined these conventions a little more, adding an energy bar you can fill in order to bust out those fancy new X-Ray attacks.

All of this is unchanged for the new release, but it’s adding a few twists of its own. For returning players, the most prominent of these would probably be the selectable variants. After selecting a fighter, you’ll then be able to choose from one of three ‘styles,’ unique to that character. In Scorpion’s case, for instance, opting for his Inferno style will allow you to summon fiery minions to help you in the fight, which Ninjutsu style will arm you with dual swords and Hellfire is more about flaming magic.

Mortal Kombat X 2

As you can imagine, this makes a huge difference to how the kombatant plays; an exciting prospect for series fans. There’s so much more depth here, and a great deal more to learn.

What else is new for Mortal Kombat X? Four characters are joining the fray, each as nightmarish and varied as you’d hope. Cassie Cage, daughter of series stalwarts Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, for one. D’Vorah is an interesting one too, a sorceress who controls insects and fires angry freaking bees as projectiles. For me, though, the most intriguing new addition is Ferra/Torr, a hulking man-beast with a dwarf riding on its back. They fight as a duo, something like the Gargantuar from Plants vs Zombies.

Mortal Kombat X, then, looks set to build on the fine formula its predecessor brought us. The revamped challenge tower, the new clan-like function, lots of smaller things. As is the case with most sequels, it’s more about evolution than revolution. Sometimes, that’s for the best, and it’s certainly making this one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Look out for X on all formats from April 14.

How Scary Is… The Evil Within?

Evil

Oh yes indeed. This is the big one. Buckle up, guys and gals.

Prior to release, The Evil Within was hyped ‘til it could be hyped no more. This much ballyhooed return to survival horror’s roots was being helmed by Shinji Mikami, after all. In the world of dark hallways, befuddling puzzles and angry maniacs brandishing chainsaws at our faces, this guy reigns supreme.

This is the creator of Resident Evil, right here (not the crappy ones, the good ones), and you don’t argue with that kind of pedigree. The question is, does his first venture into the genre for some time deliver?

Well, it certainly punches you straight between the eyes from the start. Many reviewers have noted its numerous homages to Resident Evil 4, and the memorable opening is certainly one of those. Inside the first fifteen minutes, Mikami’s favourite trope, the chainsaw crazy, has been unleashed on you.

In the case of The Evil Within, he dangles you from meathooks in a kind of human larder, before engaging you in a deadly game of cat and mouse as you attempt to escape. Except here, the cat will slice your torso into pastrami with a big ol’ angry saw if he sees you. It all adds a whole new dimension to the word ‘deadly.’

Some players have deemed this section tedious, what with being unarmed and all. But for me, it’s a tense introduction to the game’s stealth mechanics and real statement of intent to boot. The frantic hobble through the whirly circular saw trap room, the desperate dash from the Sadist, being dumped into the creepy well of blood… most of this happens before the opening credits.

Um... it's not how it looks, officer.
Um… it’s not how it looks, officer.

This is the nature of The Evil Within’s horror. In your face, violent, gory, all kinds of creepy. It’s the Resident Evil 4 or Dead Space style ‘action horror/shooter,’ if that’s a thing that exists. In terms of the lion’s share of the gameplay, at least.

To that end, it throws just about every tired trope possible at us. The dodgy mansion that houses all kinds of questionable doings, the ‘undead’ enemies, the oft-predictable yet effective cheap jump scares. Mikami knows horror, but sadly he doesn’t know when to stop knowing horror.

This isn’t to say that the game doesn’t also dig a little deeper. Along the course of the convoluted story, psychological horror becomes more prominent. As you begin to piece together the whos, whats and whys, you realise that there’s something brilliantly creepy going on behind the scenes. Which I shan’t go into, for fear of the spoiler police.

As for its scaritude (which is also a thing), that’s as difficult to gauge as ever. It can be quite a panic-inducing game, dumping you in confined spaces with bosses that can insta-kill you and such. It has the foreboding atmosphere, the scare-rific locales, the scant supplies, every element it needs. It could be the start of a rather brilliant IP, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s scary or not.

The VGamerZ Monster Files: The Sadist (The Evil Within)

Evil

The Evil Within hit stores this week, a survival horror title with a considerable pedigree. The game marks Shinji Mikami’s return to the genre, and the Hype Train expected a lot of Mr. Resident Evil’s new effort.

One thing we were certainly counting on is one of his hallmarks: the chainsaw-brandishing nutbag. Well, fear not, because he remembered to pack one. Let’s buckle up and meet The Sadist.

First, a little walk down head-lopping memory lane. Fans will remember Resident Evil 4‘s own ‘Chainsaw Guy’ (or Dr. Salvador if you prefer). This enemy appeared very early in the game, during a tense setpiece in the village. He was much more resilient than the standard Ganados, shrugging off bullets like the Terminator, and would insta-kill you if he got within range.

All of these fine attributes were shared with his female counterparts, the Bella Sisters, and The Evil Within’s Sadist is now part of that fine legacy of homicidal crazies.

He also appears very early in the game, as a way of introducing the player to the stealth mechanics in the most pants-fouling manner possible. Sebastian is still unarmed at this point, as he cruises through a deeply creepy hospital-y building. The Sadist is patroling the area, and you must desperately elude him. First, you’ll be forced to hide in a locker, Solid Snake style, before learning how to negotiate the environment without being detected.

"Wait, come back! I just want to be friends! Darn it, I came on too strong again. Is it the chainsaw? It's the chainsaw, isn't it?"
“Wait, come back! I just want to be friends! Darn it, I came on too strong again. Is it the chainsaw? It’s the chainsaw, isn’t it?”

The Evil Within utilises a stealthy trick or two of its own. There are wine bottles strewn about the areas (surprisingly many of them at that; your crazy mutant enemies must have a severe drink problem), which you can collect and throw. Whereupon, the lurking menaces will hurry off to investigate the noise.

These are tricks you’ll have to master quickly, as you’ll be thrown into the deep end in this one. Even in the opening chapter of the game, The Sadist does not take kindly to visitors. So un-kindly, in fact, that he’ll dash over to anybody he sees and send their heads bouncing along the floor before they can say ‘uh oh.’

In another homage to later Resident Evils, he’ll appear again later in the game. With Sebastian now tooled up with deathly death-sticks of his own, you’re able to turn the tables and kill him. Indeed, you must, as his pet saw is the key to a puzzle. All in all, this guy is the primary antagonist of the early game, and serves wonderfully at establishing the unique oppressive mood of The Evil Within.

Bonus points also for this guy’s design. He looks more intimidating and/or freaking hideous than Dr. Salvador ever did.

Why ‘Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare’ is the Best Spin-Off for Some Time

Plants

Fans are a fickle bunch. Fans of video games, infinitely more so. These guys aren’t above spittle-flying nerdly tirades on the Internet, so watch your darn step. If a series changes too much –or indeed too little– it’s like a minefield of abuse and/or poorly-spelled death threats via Twitter.

Which is, all told, not fun.

Spin-offs are also a controversial issue. How far can we take our favourite characters? Can we merrily plonk them into any genre we please, like the rebellious renegades we are? Sometimes we can, but only in rare cases can this be pulled off. Consider Mario, for instance.

Nintendo’s moustached hero has been everywhere. Sports games, puzzlers, even an ill-advised cameo in Dance Dance Revolution. Then there was the time he tried his hand at a kart racer, and the rest is history. But that’s Mario; as long as he’s keeping Japanese businessmen in fancy suits and sensible haircuts he can do whatever he darn well pleases.

His prolific career aside, this is partly due to the spin-offs’ great sense of familiarity. Because that inate Mushroom Kingdom-ness is brought so effectively to other titles, the world rarely feels out of place. It simply works. Which I think is the key to Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare’s success.

The game was released for Xbox One, 360 and PC earlier this year, with a PlayStation release coming later this month. It’s a third-person shooter, a different beast entirely to the Plants Vs Zombies we’re all familiar with.

Plants-vs-Zombies-Garden-Warfare

It brings all the typical PopCap crazitude you’d expect, with character classes made up of familiar plants from the original. Peashooters, Cacti, the Chomper and more are here, all ready to be dressed up in silly hats and shades for your amusement. Meanwhile, you can outfit your zombies in huge ridiculous viking beards, and charming accessories like a pencil up each nostril.

So yes, tongues are firmly in cheeks here. Garden Warfare is the most toontastic and absurd shooter you’ll ever see. But this doesn’t mean it’s just a joke of a game. Beneath the surface are some rather solid shooter credentials.

The classes themselves adhere quite well to genre norms. The Cactus is the sniper, armed with the proximity mines (potato mines) you’ll commonly see on the scout class. The frontline assault guy (here the All-Star zombie) has a short-range explosive to flush entrenched opponents out of cover, only here it’s a tiny imp that is punted at them.

The game modes, too, are simply a Plants Vs Zombies spin on the familiar. Standard deathmatches, kill confirmed, objective capture, it’s all here. An hilarious title, there’s no denying, but it’s also rather a deep one. Fans of achieving little objectives to level up characters will find many, many hours of gameplay here.

This is the tentative balancing act I’d say Garden Warfare achieves so well. Fans of the tower defense gem (which is, dare I say it, rather more casual) won’t be too jarred by this foray into a more serious-gamer genre. The transition is a gentle one. By the same token, TPS and FPS fans who have dabbled in Plants Vs Zombies (perhaps in a sort of elite, complete-survival-mode-on-the-hardest-difficulty-with-my-eyes-closed-and-one-hand-behind-my-back sort of way) can also appreciate the game.

Much like Mario’s spin-offs, it’s firmly rooted –how’s that for a little wit-tastic straight to your delicate face– in the series’ universe, but it works.

How Scary Is… ‘Dead Space?’

Dead Space

Resident Evil 4, as franchise fans will know, was a true revolution. Its dramatic changes to the series’ DNA weren’t universally popular (a euphemism for still cause many to go on spittle-flying Internet tirades to this day), but they were certainly radical. They also begged the question: can survival horror really work in this pseudo-TPS, Dead Space actiontastic style? When you’ve got more ridiculous weaponry than Arnold Schwarzenegger, what do you have to fear?

Well, if you’re going to be pernickety, that’s two questions. Fortunately, though, here comes Dead Space to help us answer both of them.

The game was released in 2008, and followed a similar horror/shooter template. It’s set five hundred years in the future, and humanity have predictably advanced from screwing up their own planet to screwing up everybody else’s. Our resource-ravaging ways have taken the ultimate step with the creation of the planetcrackers. These are vast starships with the capacity to ‘drain’ orbiting planets of everything of use, which sounds just about right really.

This dystopian image of the future was the first thing I found ‘scary’ about Dead Space, a possibility that hit just a little too close to home. I was unnerved even before the throat-slashing death beasts OF DEATH made an appearance.

Our protagonist is one Isaac Clarke, part of a mining team sent to answer a distress call from the Planetcracker Ishimura. Whereupon, naturally, all hell breaks loose, and his companions are slaughtered in a blood-leaky manner by the Necromorphs that have infested the ship.

Where the hell did this guy come from?
Where the hell did this guy come from?

Much like Resident Evil 4‘s Ganados, these hideous buggers are a step above the shuffling, useless zombies of survival horror yore. Necromorphs are born from the insidious influence of the Marker, a mysterious alien artifact. It first drives those within its proximity insane, eventually driving them to murder. Then, it spreads a virus that corrupts the bodies of its victims and mutates them into these beasts.

Ghastly as it all is, another little innovation was added to the combat. The resilient Necromorphs have to be killed by a technique known as ‘strategic dismemberment,’ meaning that you must slice away their limbs to destroy them. Mmm, yummy.

On top of that, Isaac is an engineer, not a badass supersoldier with rippling pecs and so on. As such, he’s mostly armed with improvised weaponry, a rock-boring handheld laser for instance. This lends an oddly ‘vicious’ edge to encounters which isn’t always found in games.

Another thing Dead Space does very well is maintain that oppressive atmosphere. As TPS-y and bullets-flying-every-damn-where-y as it is, that’s tempered by a psychological aspect. Some genuinely creepy moments ensue with survivors of the incident (none of whom survive for long), in inaccesible areas you can only watch from.

Dead Space, I think, combines the immediate jump scares with a deeper sense of lingering dread, and it’s very effective. The developers aren’t named Visceral Games for nothing.

Free Games Roundup

Games

Over the past few days a bunch of games have become free through services like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. But which games are worth your time? This is VgamerZ run down of thee free games and whether or not you should hit that download button. On Xbox 360, Dark Souls I is free, while Xbox One Gold Members get Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault. On the Playstation side PS4 Plus users can get the PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate and Trine 2 and PS3 Plus members can get NBA 2K14. Also on PS3 anyone with a US PSN account can download Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (But this may be an error, so act fast). Back on PS4, Free-to-play title War Thunder rounds out the list of content available this week. With so many free games to get through, let’s get started.

Dark Souls I- Xbox 360

The spiritual sequel to Playstation exclusive Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls made the cult hit series a bit less cult. The game’s look evokes a paint by the numbers role-playing game, but the mechanics tell an entirely different story. A lot of people say Dark Souls is hard, and it is, the difficulty doesn’t come from frustrating cheap shots and random encounters. The difficulty of Dark Souls comes from it’s requirement of precision. Every section of the game can be memorized and beaten with the proper execution, it just takes time to gain the precision required. The process for learning the varying levels can be tedious to some and rewarding to others, so if you are interested in a giant game where every section is a trial, then give Dark Souls a download. Even if it doesn’t sound like your type of game I encourage everyone to test drive the game, it is rare to find a game as rewarding as Dark Souls with the same length and solid combat.

Dark-Souls-PC-review-1

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood- Xbox One

As one of the first Xbox One Games with Gold offer’s, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood may not seem like a compelling offer. The games quirky art style and story certainly don’t appeal to everyone, but if you can get past that then the gameplay is solid. The game focus’s on Max’s quest to get his brother back by jumping and climbing his way through deserts,  jungles and caves. Max uses a magic ‘magic marker’ to change the environment, growing pillars and lowering vines. The game has a very strong shift from beginning to end, changing from platformer to puzzler slowly but surely. For fans of colorful games that are fine and suitable for kids be sure to check Max out, but if cheesy humor and puzzle/platforming isn’t up your alley I might skip it.

MAX

Halo: Spartan Assault- Xbox One

The latest entry into the Halo series, Spartan Assault is at best a decent time. For fans of the franchise and twin stick shooters, there may even be something here. For those who don’t, the title feels like a mobile title. Without the story or gameplay to keep you hooked, there is really a drought of ‘fun’ in the experience. With very mobile game/Free-to-Play things like micro-transactions, even when the game opens up a bit with larger levels and more story certain aspects never fail to remind you where this game is from. There are some genuine moments of fun, but they are so few and far between that unless Halo AND twin stick shooters are your jam I can’t recommend it.

halo spartan assault 18

PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate- PS4

The new bundle of the classic PS3 games makes it’s debut on the PS4. 2D and twin stick, PixelJunk is a shooter/arcade game with a huge emphasis on fluid physics. The levels are short, maybe 5 minutes long, and consist of getting in, grabbing as many stranded people and pieces of treasure as possible, and getting out. The controls make maneuvering your ship around lava and enemies a fun experience while many games make it a chore. The lava and water are two of the games biggest aspects, as using the liquids to get through a level becomes essential early on. The different aspects of each level combine to form the arcade like experience of trying to get as many resources as you can as quickly as you can. The game also features online play where to ships go head to head trying to rescue the stranded first. PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate is fun for almost everybody, especially those that enjoy old arcade games. If time limits and in-the-moment strategy aren’t something your looking for, then PixelJunk may be a skip.

PixelJunk-Shooter-Ultimate-704x352

Trine 2- PS4

The Trine games are out for almost every platform in existence, but that doesn’t mean the game is any worse for it. Trine 2’s visuals are deep and colorful even though often it can be cluttered. The three character dynamic is used often and to great results, allowing players to take some control in how the puzzles are solved and the gameplay transforms. Throughout the game players balance and switch between the characters in order to pass puzzles and platform through the levels. The story is a bit throw away, with very one note characters and a world that is every fantasy world somehow rolled into one bland package. The co-op features do make for a bit more interesting time, but only due to thee players interactions and not a meaningful difference in how puzzles are solved. If platformers and co-op sound fun definitely go get Trine, but if fantasy and puzzles are not up your alley then move right along.

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NBA 2K14- PS3

The premier basketball franchise impressed everyone this year with a suite of new modes and in many cases eye popping visuals. While the last-gen version’s may not be AS drop dead gorgeous when compared to this gen’s, the game itself has more interesting modes and features. The Lebron James centric story mode won’t knock anyone’s socks off, but it’s a solid entry into the franchise for the uninitiated. Playing through the franchise mode is dynamic, offering a suite of tools and options to provide a fairly complex sim. On-the-court action is smooth and refined, allowing players to make snap decision and follow through with a game saving block or last second shot. NBA 2K14 is a must for fans of basketball and sports friends in general, but by now you probably know whether the 2K series is for you, so act accordingly.

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Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception- PS3

The Naughty Dog team proved with Uncharted 3 that they weren’t one hit wonders. After Uncharted 1 was considered fun but flat and 2 blew everyone away, Naughty Dog left critics and gamers wondering if they could do it again. The proof is in the pudding as they say, and after Uncharted 3 released there was no doubting the studio’s talent. The 3rd person shooter has taken up the video game Indiana Jones spot, fusing some of the best stories with a loose gameplay that fits the tone perfectly. Now for a limited time you can have the game for free, so be sure and take advantage if action games and treasure hunting appeals to you.

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War Thunder- PS4

War Thunder started out as a PC exclusive plane fighting sim, but the Free-to-play title  has now flown over to PS4. The downloadable seems to have solved the problem plaguing many games on how to make aerial combat enjoyable, accessible and  still complex enough to require mastering. Flying through the sky’s in old WWII era planes looks great, and the variety of planes and ground units is large. After picking a side players set out to destroy targets and kill planes on huge teams made up of PS4 and PC players alike. The best part of War Thunder is it’s distinctness from everything else available right now. The unique gameplay and quick pickup make it the perfect free-to-play title, and one that is definitely worth a download.

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The games for this week are a great selection across genre’s and consoles, with great deals for everyone. Hopefully this article spread a little light on what each game was about, but in reality if you have the service then I recommend going ahead and downloading the game’s. Which game do you think is the best and why? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Update:

Since posting this article, Steam has hopped on  the free game bandwagon. If you head over to Valve’s PC platform right now you can get Sniper Elite V2 absolutely free. The 3rd person shooter is a generic WWII sniper centric game, but the gimmick of  X-Ray kills make it one worth checking out. Hurry, as it gains a price-tag in less than 24 hours.